The fathers’ rights lawyers at the Carmiece Graves Law Firm provide comprehensive representation for fathers in Maryland. If you’re facing a divorce or a dispute over custody, paternity, or child support, let us help you protect your parental rights.
Our family law practice is dedicated to ensuring that every father understands his rights and has the support he needs to enjoy those rights. If you need a fathers’ rights lawyer in Maryland, contact us to learn how we can help.
Legal Paternity and Fathers’ Rights
Many fathers fear going to court over paternity or custody disputes because they believe family courts always favor the mother. Although this may have been true in the past, recent years have witnessed a shift in family law to protect the fathers’ legal rights.
Paternity in Maryland
Before you pursue your legal rights as a father, consider if you have established legal paternity, which grants you the legal rights you expect to have as the biological father of your child. If you and the mother were married at the time of your child’s birth, you already have established paternity in Maryland.
If not, you will need to establish paternity to protect your rights. Fathers usually do this by signing a Maryland Affidavit of Parenthood or taking a DNA test. A court can also establish paternity without a DNA test.
Note that you should give careful thought to signing an affidavit if you are not sure you are the child’s biological father. If you have reason to doubt, take a DNA test. We understand that no one wants to believe a mother would lie about paternity, but the obligations that come with paternity have long-term implications, and it is important to protect your interests.
Father’s Rights in Maryland
Establishing legal paternity can grant you certain rights as the father of your child. These include rights such as:
- Legal custody
- Physical custody
- Visitation rights
- Notification rights
It is important to understand that decisions about custody and other matters are based on what the court determines to be in the child’s best interests. To ensure that the court hears your side of the story, work with the fathers’ rights lawyers at the Carmiece Graves Law Firm.
Child Support in Maryland
Misunderstandings about fathers’ rights leads some fathers to believe they are always required to provide child support payments to the mother. In truth, child support is not determined by the parent’s gender but by who has primary physical custody of the child.
If your child lives with you full time, the mother may owe you child support payments to help you financially support your child.
Best Interests of the Child
Many couples want to go to court with ammunition against the other parent, but it is more important to provide evidence that you will provide a safe, stable, supportive, and loving home.
Family courts determine child custody based on the best interests of the child, not the parents. The judge will analyze the evidence presented to choose the parent they believe will provide the best environment.
The judge considers how involved each parent has been in the child’s life, how well they take care of the child, and other factors, such as prior domestic violence or other criminal charges. While courts no longer automatically favor mothers in disputes, it is still critical to prepare a solid case to prove you can provide what’s in your child’s best interests.
Contact a Dedicated Maryland Fathers’ Rights Attorney
At the Carmiece Graves Law Firm, we provide father-focused representation to help fathers in a range of situations, including divorce and disputes involving paternity, custody, and child support. To find out how a fathers’ rights lawyer can help you in the DC or MD area, call us at 240-573-7153.